The Truth… What’s That?
It seems we live in a world where there’s my truth, your truth, her truth and his truth. Everyone determines their own truth. It’s a world where we find our truth in books and magazines, in what respected people tell us, from personal experience, through journalistic reporting and from TV shows or sensational news broadcasts. Some folks believe everything on the internet is truth.
About truth, N.T. Wright wrote: “Truth isn’t something you get out of a test tube, or a mathematical formula. We don’t have truth in our pockets. Philosophers and judges don’t own it. It is a gift, a strange quality … that comes from elsewhere but is meant to take up residence in this world.”
Personally, I believe truth takes up residence in the world because truth – deep down – resonates within each of us, evidenced by the values we hold dear.
Truth is not about political correctness, nor is it about satisfying our personal desires and preferences. Rather, truth shines through the right values being embraced and lived-out through authentic values-based living, exhibited by individuals who strive to do the right thing.
Interacting with business executives around the world I’ve found an astonishing similarity in the values espoused by the individuals with whom I work. Almost without exception these executives fundamentally agree on common values such as integrity, respect, humility (outward focus) and compassion.
Granted, living-out those values can take different forms due to cultural influences, and often we espouse a value, yet we don’t consistently live it out. Sometimes we even violate our own values seeking personal benefit, even to the detriment of others. Nevertheless, I believe at our core we each have personal conviction about basic human values. I also believe that we each need to “die” to our selfishness and commit to selflessly living-out our values if we are to make society a better place.
It is that deep inner conviction about constructive common values that we must probe. We need to find what is common in human values and beliefs. We must articulate those values, encourage each other to live them out and hold each other responsible for modeling values-based behaviors, forgiving and restoring each other when we slip.
This holiday season I commit to looking for the good in others. I will look for the values I believe are common throughout humanity – integrity, compassion, respect and humility – I’ll do my best to exhibit values-based behaviors and I’ll encourage others to do the same. As a result, I’ll hope for a better world in the days to come.
What will you do?
Merry Christmas and best wishes for a values-based New Year!
- Davis H. Taylor, TAI Incorporated, firstname.lastname@example.org